Cycling Day 6
09.07.2010 - 09.07.2010 28 °C
This was our rest day and, although it was completely lycra-free, "rest" was probably not absolutely accurate. After a later start and breakfast on the over-sea platform, we all got on a boat over to a nearby island for snorkelling. Sonia and I have done very little if any of this before and, although we were hesitant at first, it was very enjoyable as we looked at the reef and saw some colourful fish, corals and the occasional octapus.
Following this, we were dropped on a sandy white beach near a small village. The warung owner had just built some rooms and Col had some of us helping to investigate this as a potential stopping point for future tours. His house was said to be the first on the island and was held up by stilts sitting on blocks of coral. After tea and snacks of pisan goreng (fried banana) and other delights, we walked down past the mosque through narrow beach streets. Sonia bought herself a locally made sarong.
Following the trip back to the mainland, we had lunch and went on an excursion to the area where the famous Makassar boats are built. These are amazing structures and the Buginese ones are built to pretty much the same seven sailed design as they have been for centuries. We watched two being built and interviewed the workers. Of the two boats we saw, one was traditional Buginese and the other was being built by request for a "blunder" (a real one) who lived in The Philippines. During the interview, we asked about the value of the Dutchmen's boat. The man working there said it would be worth one billion rupiah (around $130,000). This is not a lot given the sweat and danger that was obviously involved in creating it. I think that this "blunder" may be continuing on with the exploitative traditions of old. There was absolutley zero WH&S in place with a man welding without protection (well, he did close his eyes) and a man with a small drill on the end of a giant shaft that would have spun him into orbit if it were to jam. We walked all over the ships (obviously the union rep didn't mind) and left when part of the bamboo scaffolding fell down around us.
Again, the over-stimulation was tiring us and we returned to the "resort" for a nap before yoga, beers and dinner.